scharrison's blog Comments red shirt brigade It's really kind of sad, but these astroturf organizations really aren't that clever: Unmentioned by any of the news outlets that covered the event was a crucial fact: these weren't actual "grassroots" activists, but rather astroturf out-of-towners bused in from counties all across the state. Their journey was paid for by the legitimately "well-funded" oil and gas industry, which raked in profits of $1 trillion in the past decade. According to the Associated Press, the pro-fracking rally and march were organized by a brand new front group called the Landowner Advocates of New York formed in the immediate aftermath of the recent Cuomo decision to stall on opening the fracking floodgates. Other endorsers of the Landowner Advocates of NY's "Real People, Real Jobs Rally" (an apparent alternative name) included the likes of America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), the American Petroleum Institute (API), the New York State Petroleum Council (the state-level version of API), and the Independent Oil and Gas Association (IOGA) of NY. Getting to the root of the issue: this a new well-coordinated campaign by the oil industry to create various front groups, with EID serving as the effort's centerpiece. Groups like LANY and JLOCNY are merely astroturf spin-offs of EID - an industry front group itself - helping to provide the veneer of widespread grassroots support for fracking in New York state. And if you're skeptical about that whole "bused in" thing, be skeptical no more: Join us in showing our legislators in Albany that landowners have rights too! Your rights to the use of your property are being trampled on and losing a day’s work is nothing compared with the losses you may experience if you choose to do nothing. We are providing FREE, COMFORTABLE, bus transportation from a broad range of locations. And apparently somebody was handing out some red tee-shirts, too. Grassroots indeed.